Thursday, June 08, 2006

Death and taxes debated on national TV!

Jim Lehrer's Newshour offers a weird form of TV news. Even arcane subjects such as estate tax legislation receive minutes and minutes and minutes of coverage. On the commercial networks, only the onset of World War III will get that much notice.

Wednesday evening's Newshour coverage of death and taxes featured the Heritage Foundation's William Beach and Seattle lawyer William Gates Sr. Both did a good job of advocacy.

Two interesting twists: Beach suggested that higher income taxes would be a better way to soak the rich. Gates Sr. voiced strong support for raising the estate-tax exemption.

Two questions: Why do fans of the estate tax talk about the extremely temporary higher exemptions of the next few years, not the $1 million default exemption from 2011 onward? Why do they insist that the estate tax is "paid" by only a few dead people, not their more numerous heirs?

For streaming video of the coverage, go here.

No comments: